In Discussion: Peter Zumthor Speaks with Michael Govan About the LACMA Redesign

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In a crowed auditorium in central Los Angeles on Sunday, Swiss architect sat down with the Los Angeles County Museum of Art () director Michael Govan to kickstart the opening of The Presence of the Past: Peter Zumthor Reconsiders LACMA. The hour-long discussion, captured in the video above, began with an insightful overview of Zumthor’s most famous works before moving to an in-depth conversation about the underlying ideas that drive Zumthor’s design for the highly anticipated LACMA overhaul.

The project – already six years in the making and yet still in its schematic phase – plans to replace LACMA’s aging cluster of three pavilions with an elevated, 21st century facility. A detailed project summary, alongside images captured from Zumthor’s 6 ton, concrete exhibition model, is available for you to review here on ArchDaily. Enjoy! 

A First Look at Peter Zumthor’s Design for the LACMA

© 2013 Museum Associates / LACMA

Coming at a crucial time in which is at risk of “losing its reputation as a center for innovative architecture,” museum director Michael Govan and Swiss architect have unveiled preliminary plans for what they hope will be the new home of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). If approved, this $650 million proposal – nearly six years in the making – would replace the dated William Pereira-designed campus and its 1986 Hardy Holzman Pfeiffer Associates-designed addition with an organically-shaped, energy efficient, dark-grey concrete and glass Zumthor original.

More information after the break, including Peter Zumthor’s project description…

‘Lebbeus Woods is an Archetype’ Exhibition & Installation

© Lebbeus Woods is an Archetype, , 2013

Opening October 11 until December 1, the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc) will present ‘Lebbeus Woods is an Archetype’, an exhibition and public art installation which highlights the well-known American architect’s work, including several original, rarely seen Woods drawings from private collections. Complemented by a symposium and catalog, this exhibition in the SCI-Arc Gallery and related large-scale public art installation in the Arts District’s Bloom Square, aims to demonstrate the fearless nature with which the late visionary architect and draftsman created. More information on the exhibition after the break.

New LA Subway Could Spell Acoustical Doom for Gehry’s Disney Hall

Disney Hall / Gehry Partners

Architect Frank Gehry has voiced concerns that the new Los Angeles subway, scheduled for construction in two to three years, may disturb concerts in his famous Disney Hall. The planned subway line would run 125 feet below the venue’s parking garage and recent simulations have shown that the rumblings could be audible inside the concert hall. Gehry has called for the review of previous noise projections for the metro project, which two years ago predicted no audible impact on his design. “It would be a disaster for Disney Hall,” Gehry told the LA Times. “The flag is up and we should go over it and make sure.”

Read more after the break.

The Indicator: Pilgrimage, Experiencing the Eames House

© J. Paul Getty Trust

I pass by the almost every day at about 35 mph on my way down to PCH, the sand, the waves, the subterranean tunnels, and the tsunami zone, where LA coughs up its junk on the urban beach, where the Westside comes to its logical conclusion. Sometimes traffic is backed up so far up the hill—this is , after all—that I sit motionless and adjacent where the house should be, but can’t actually see it. I listen to the engine, the radio, the sound of helicopters and leaf blowers. The house is silent somewhere behind a wall of dense tropical flora.

My first actual visit to the house was when I was barely thinking about architecture. In a way it was my introduction to the possibility that someone could do architecture, that it was something one could succeed at. It was optimism on real estate once considered solidly middle class. Improbably light-weight and even painterly, like a Mondrian composition, it sits in a perfectly mundane American yard, like the delicate skeleton of a bird perched over the Pacific.

‘A New Sculpturalism: Contemporary Architecture from Southern California’ Exhibition

Eric Owen Moss Architects, Samitaur Tower, Culver City, , 2008–10 / © Tom Bonner

Taking place June 16 – September 16 at the Museum of Contemporary Art in , ‘A New Sculpturalism: Contemporary Architecture from Southern California‘ will be the first extensive, scholarly examination of the radical forms that have become prolific in Southern California architecture during the past twenty-five years. It will examine the role of Los Angeles–based architect Frank Gehry, arguably the most significant and innovative architect of the later part of the twentieth century, and the generation of Los Angeles architects that followed him, including Greg Lynn, Michael Maltzan, Thom Mayne, and Eric Owen Moss, to name a few. For more information, please visit here.

The Indicator: The Lure of the Vernacular

© Edward Ruscha-The Getty Research Institute, (2012.M.2) / Edward Ruscha photographs of streets and related documentation: Santa Monica Boulevard, Melrose Avenue, Pacific Coast Highway and other streets.

There is something soothing, even easy about vernacular architecture. It’s the territorial and spatial equivalent to Muzak. It evades and pre-dates the self-conscious identity of glitzy, cutting-edge architecture we are so familiar with today. There is an innocence to the vernacular. These are the buildings and environments of childhood.

This is apparent in the exhibition, In Focus: Ed Ruscha, currently showing at the J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center in Los Angeles. What captivates about the shots is that they dare to curate buildings that are usually just part of the background. They become objects of curiosity, spectacles, even.

Augustus F. Hawkins High School / CSDA Design Group

© Henry Cabala/ CSDA Design Group

Architects: CSDA Design Group
Location: Augustus F. Hawkins High School, , CA 90044,
Landscape Architect: Melendrez Design Partners
Area: 351070.0 ft2
Year: 2012
Photographs: Henry Cabala/ CSDA Design Group

‘Stormcloud’ Installation / Oyler Wu Collaborative

Courtesy of Oyler Wu Collaborative

With the Southern California Institute of Architecture celebrating its 40th anniversary, the Stormcloud installation was designed and built by the office of Oyler Wu Collaborative, along with students of , for the after-party of its April 2013 gala. Tasked with the challenge of revamping the existing Netscape pavilion, Oyler Wu Collaborative saw the project as an opportunity to take a completely different approach to the problem.  By removing the ten miles of knitted ropes that once hung between the soaring steel trusses, the project was transformed both volumetrically and materially. More images and architects’ description after the break.

Sessa Residence / J,P:A

© Taiyo Watanabe

Architects: J,P:A
Location: Los Angeles, ,
Architect In Charge: Jones, Partners: Architecture
Design Team: Wes Jones, Rachel Bitan, Matt Daines, Janiva Henry, Steven Purvis
Area: 2,000 sqft
Year: 2012
Photographs: Taiyo Watanabe

Peter Zumthor Proposes $650 Million Overhaul for LACMA

LACMA © Flickr user Diana Lee Photography

The County Museum of Art (LACMA) will soon be rolling out the red carpet to welcome Swiss legend to the Golden State. The prized architect’s debut will mark the opening of “The Presence of the Past: Peter Zumthor Reconsiders LACMA,” which will unveil the ambitious, $650 million plan to transform the LACMA’s “Byzantine maze of buildings and hallways” into an experience-based “village” of curvaceous modern glass structures that will produce more energy than it uses.

“The idea is to make it permeable by people,” LACMA CEO and director Michael Govan says, who has been working with Zumthor for over four years on the proposal.

Dwell on Design 2013

Dwell on Design, America’s largest modern design event, returns to the Convention Center, June 21-23, 2013. DOD reimagines the trade show experience by transforming 200,000 square feet of concrete into a design incubator where prefab comes to life and design luminaires debate the issues of today. With more than 400 exhibitors, 200 speakers, 2000 products and an expected 30,000 attendees, DOD has become the largest design event in the US, showing how influential design is in every aspect of our modern world. is proud to announce The Lincoln Motor Company as the Presenting Auto sponsor, Design Partner jcpenney and Industry Partner The American Society of Interior Designers (ASID). The event is produced by Dwell Media.

More information, including keynote speakers, the 2013 highlights and a special promo code for ArchDaily readers after the break.

A Look at Hollywood’s Love Affair with John Lautner

You have to admit it, Hollywood really seems to have a thing for ; his designs are continuously cropping up in tv-shows, films, cartoons, music  and even video games. The occasional despondent college professor aside, his exuberant mansions are usually typecast as the bachelor-pads of various flamboyant psycho-paths, pornographers or drug-smugglers. Curbed Los Angeles have compiled this excellent video of the various Lautner-featuring scenes, so we thought that we’d take a closer look at some of his buildings, which tend to pop up in all manner of unexpected places.

Read more about Hollywood’s love affair with Lautner after the break…

Motion Picture Academy Unveils Designs for Renzo Piano-Designed Museum

Academy Museum of Motion Pictures © Renzo Piano Building Workshop, Studio Pali Fekete architects, AMPAS

It’s surprising to think that Los Angeles - the home of the U.S film industry – doesn’t have a museum solely dedicated to its homegrown artform. However, all that is about to change should the Academy of Motion Pictures have their way.

Last Thursday, plans were unveiled for the long-touted Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, a new museum designed by Renzo Piano and native Los Angeleno architect Zoltan Pali, which will be located in the streamline-moderne Wiltshire May Company building at Wilshire Boulevard and Fairfax Avenue, on the campus of the County Museum of Art (LACMA). Although the designs are at an early stage, the released drawings propose to convert the historic building into a museum, while marrying it with a 140-foot-diameter glass dome.

Read more about the project after the break…

CAPACITY: Gensler Los Angeles Academic Studio

CAPACITY, the Gensler led academic studio at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, was created with the intent to survey, understand and visualize the dynamic set of infrastructure constraints impacting and contributing to Downtown Los Angeles’ capacity to evolve. The video above highlights the documentation and synthesizing done by the SLO_GenLA ’13 Professional studio which shows the capacity of Los Angeles’ infrastructure and demonstrates how the limits of each system may physically impact the future built form of the city. Once these variables, which include building information and zoning, energy, waste management, and water were universally known and their units of measure understood, scenarios for the future were generated.

UCLA’s cityLAB at the School of Architecture and Urban Design

Backyard Homes Conceptual Rendering, image courtesy Daly Genik Architects

What makes an architecture school worth consideration are its special programs and initiatives. These programs, often run by a few faculty members, vary from addressing human rights and legal issues to working with local communities to remedy social and economic issues.

’s Architecture and Urban Design (AUD) school has just such a program. Called cityLAB (not to be confused with the student-run, science-based UCLA CityLab), it is in many ways unique to a university setting. Run by founder/director Professor Dana Cuff and co-directed by Professor Roger Sherman. It’s name is well-suited: a laboratory to test ideas and address issues arising from city conditions in ways that cannot be done by profit-driven firms. These issues include housing, commercial revitalization, and community and municipal collaboration. These projects have operated successfully on grants that support not just the work being done by the professors, but by staff and Graduate Student Researchers who are paid to work in all aspects of the projects.

Video: Sheats Goldstein Residence / John Lautner

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Question: What does Snoop Dogg, John Cleese, Lucy Liu and Jeff ‘The Dude’ Lebowski have in common? Simple, they have all, at some point in time, hung out in the living room of the space-age Sheats Goldstein Residence designed by Frank Lloyd Wright-disciple, John Lautner.

Read more about this amazing house and its unique owner after the break…

Lautner House / New Theme

© Patricia Parinejad

Architects: New Theme
Location: , CA,
Architect In Charge: New Theme
Year: 2012
Photographs: Patricia Parinejad